BART police chief takes on critics in staff memo

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A San Francisco Bay area transit police chief says critics of his agency are misguided, because Bay Area Rapid Transit is fully investigating the death of a BART police officer at the hands of his colleague.

Sgt. Tom Smith was shot and killed by fellow BART officer Michael Maes while they searched an apartment on Jan. 21.

Chief Kenton Rainey says in a bulletin sent to employees last week and obtained by The San Francisco Chronicle (http://bit.ly/MlYfKx) that a few individuals inside and outside the agency were undermining efforts to improve the force's reputation.

Rainey says BART's training on handling warrants and high-risk operations is adequate, but could be improved.

BART police have been the center of other controversies. On New Year's Day 2009, Oscar Grant III, an unarmed black passenger, was shot and killed at the Fruitvale station.

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Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com